Intel’s Arc Of Success Takes A Back Seat To The Driver

Intel’s Arc A750 And Arc A770 Prefer Higher Resolutions

The results are in and Intel’s new Arc A750 is a moderately priced 1440p card, and the Arc 770 is a not quite value 1440p card.  The testing shows that over the course of two dozen games that while the Arc A750 struggles to match the RX 6600 and RTX 3060 at 1080p, it can outperform them at 1440p.  The Arc 770 is similar, 1080p average performance drops below the RTX 3060 and RX 6600 XT while at 1440p it is the better card.

Those results may seem counterintuitive but they demonstrate the focus of the ACM-G10 GPU on higher resolution performance.  That is not to say they can compete with the flagship GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA, but at $290 and $350 respectively that would be an unrealistic expectation.  They do compete with cards that should cost from $300 to $370; in as far as MSRP applies to any of the cards mentioned so far, and that does make sense.

You should also consider the somewhat decent ray tracing performance and the fact that their resolution upscaling feature dubbed XeSS (Xe Super Sampling) works as advertised on all GPUs, and not just Intel Arc architecture, when you are forming an opinion on these cards.

All is not perfect with the launch however.  It can be said that the driver for the two new Alchemist cards is better that the A380; however that ain’t sayin’ much.  There were reviewers that still ran into issues, the majority being bizarrely inconsistent performance and frame times between games.  There were some that had BSoD’s and graphical glitches during testing, while others didn’t see any.  That speaks to driver compatibility, which is good on some systems and less so on others.  That is bad news for those that build their own machines for now, as you won’t be able to predict if Arc likes your choices in hardware or not.  The good news is that it is a software issue, which can be far more easily resolved than an issue stemming from hardware.

The last caveat for prospective Arc owners is resizable BAR.  If you are on an older motherboard or OS that does not support resizable PCIe Basic Address Register then you are not going to have a good time with the Arc 750 nor Arc 770.  You, dear reader, are assuredly aware of this fact, but the average gamer may not have the foggiest idea what a resizable BAR is, let alone how to enable it.  As TechPowerUp’s final Alchemist review shows, without ReBAR the performance of the Arc cards plummet.

Overall this is an impressive first shot at a midrange GPU when it comes to hardware and Intel should be proud.  However, on the software side this launch may have benefited AMD far more than it did Intel.

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